Friday, May 27, 2011

Singapore bank closes accounts of Speak Asia

The Singapore-based United Overseas Bank has closed the accounts of multi-level marketing company Speak Asia, a development that will have bearing on the company’s 19 lakh members in India.

“Our bank account in Singapore has not been frozen... we are only moving our company account to another bank. We are approaching and evaluating various other banks in Singapore from where we will soon be able to disburse the payments to all panelists,” Speak Asia said in a statement.

The United Overseas Bank with effect from today has decided to close the bank accounts of Speak Asia, which is mired in controversy over its operations in the country.

“As part of our review of our business and banking relationship we regret to inform you that we are unable to continue maintaining the... accounts you have with us,” United Overseas Bank had said in a communication to Speak Asia.

The company, however, said that the money of its members is safe and it is trying to open “an escrow account in order to ... protect their interests.”

The India CEO of online survey company, Manoj Kumar, said, “No notice letter or questionnaire has been received by us from any government agency or authority.

“In fact, we have proactively approached the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the Economic Offences Wings (EOW) of both Delhi and Mumbai Police and offered our fullest cooperation and information,” he added.

The company where consumers pay around Rs 11,000 for a membership which will allow them to conduct some surveys online for the firm.

The members also get paid for filling those surveys. It is believed that the Rs 11,000 investment could be recovered within three months.

There were reports that during a trade fair in Goa, the company’s marketing team had claimed that ICICI, ING Vysya, Bata, Airtel and Nestle were its clients.

However, it was later reported in some sections of the media that the companies denied having any business connections with the online survey firm.

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